Zuma's heaven remark no earthly good
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's comments that voting for the ANC is a pass for heaven borders on blasphemy, the Christian Democratic Party said on Monday.
“The appalling tendency of President Jacob Zuma to use religion as an instrument of intimidation to coerce people into voting for the ANC, borders on blasphemy,” CDP leader Rev Theunis Botha said.
Zuma, who also heads the ruling ANC, reportedly told party supporters in Mthatha: "When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don't vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork... who cooks people.
"When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven."
Botha said Zuma had previously "threatened his gullible audience" that their forefathers would haunt them should they not vote for the ANC" and should know better by now.
The government was sensitive to minorities who might be offended by Christian prayer in meetings, but was happy to say things offensive to Christians.
"A true Christian, and thus also a Christian Democrat, will never use the Lord as a tool for man. The Christian is and will always remain an instrument of God.”
The ANC, in response, agreed with Zuma, but did not feel the "figurative" and "metaphoric" statement was blasphemous.
"Those who are 'alarmed' by his expression are probably driven by jealousy for not having thought of the expression themselves," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.
The CDP's complaint joins that of the DA and the African Christian Democratic Party.